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Minute's silence on Tuesday for victims of flooding

15:14 19/07/2021

A minute's silence will be held at 12.01 on Tuesday afternoon for the victims of the floods in southern Belgium.

More than 30 people have died in the floods, which hit large parts of Liège, Namur and Luxembourg provinces, as well as parts of Walloon and Flemish Brabant. More than 100 people are missing.

In Brussels, all Stib buses, metros and trams will come to a standstill for the occasion. A minute earlier, at midday, the Stib's emergency callout and breakdown vehicles will sound their sirens before the minute's silence begins.

The Brussels public transport operator has made equipment available for the rescue and clean-up effort, including trucks with cranes. Stib has also offered to provide surplus buses to help transport victims who have been forced out of their homes.

The Walloon and Flemish governments have both asked the Royal Meteorological Institute to recognise the floods as a natural disaster, which would speed up the compensation procedure from insurers and open up possible access to emergency funding.

An initial estimate by insurers has put the cost of the flood damage at more than €150 million. Victims who have damage exceeding €5,000 should be able to benefit from a cash advance to cover the direct costs of purchasing new clothes and other short-term essentials.

Insurer Ethias is touring the affected regions in a bus offering walk-in sessions for residents who have yet to file an insurance claim.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's military parade for the Belgian national day has been scaled back, as soldiers and military helicopters are deployed for the clean-up effort in Wallonia.

The cultural and artistic part of the 21 July celebrations has also been slightly adapted to take into account last week's disaster.

Several Belgian towns have decided to cancel their festivities planned for Tuesday evening ahead of the national holiday.

Photo: Françoise Peiffer/Belga

Written by The Bulletin